After 200 miles of gravel over the Flint Hills of Kansas, USA, as well as 9,600ft of climbing, it came down to a sprint for the line between two former WorldTour pros to decide the winner at the Unbound Gravel 200.
Jonathan Cavner of Colorado Springs was the first to attack after the start, chased down by a 100-strong group, Quinn Simmons leading the pack through Eskridge.
It wasn’t to be for Simmons, though as he abandoned after crashing, and at the halfway stage seven riders found themselves in the lead, featuring a number of familiar faces.
Ted King, Peter Stetina, Ian Boswell, Colin Strickland, Laurens ten Dam, Eric Marcotte and Robin Carpenter.
25 miles later and the leading group was down to five, Marcotte and Carpenter dropped, calling a truce to refill bottles, pump up their tyres and relieve themselves.
They worked well together through the sweltering heat, and into the final 50 miles it was soon down to King, Boswell and Ten Dam, Stetina just unhitched behind, before Boswell and Ten Dam went off alone.
Together they collaborated until the final, where Boswell outsprinted the Dutchman to claim the victory, coming home in 10 hours 17 minutes and 24 seconds, Stetina third 1-11 later.
Lauren De Crescenzo stormed to the win in the women’s race, finishing 15 minutes clear of second-place Amity Rockwell, Emily Newsom third.
Tibco’s Lauren Stephens won the 100-mile women’s race, while the XL men’s winner, Taylor Lideen, won with the fastest-ever pace, 15.5mph over 350 miles, taking just under 23 hours.
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